James Rendell, Vice Chairperson People Living with HIV/AIDS WA Inc. and a member of the Liberal Party, says the WA AIDS Council is failing to engage with the local HIV Positive Community.
It is a concern that Major Policy and Law Reform Submissions are being made by the WA AIDS Council on behalf of the Positive Community without any meaningful consultation.
The AIDS Council flatly refuses to allow any Positive Person to be elected by the community to the board to represent People Living with HIV, and to act to ensure that they are fairly treated in WA.
The Council have an appointed Positive Person Position whose role seems to be just to attend Board meetings in Perth & Sydney and to act as a token representative only. This person is not appointed by the community, and the community is not allowed any input into how this appointment is made to the Board.
As part of the funding agreement the AIDS Council has with the government, they are required to actually engage with People who have HIV/AIDS and be more than just a service provider.
There have been a number Formal written Requests to the WA AIDS Council Board from members of the Positive community for a change in how the views of Positive people are heard by the Aids Council, but these have been unanswered, and AIDS Council Members correspondence has not been replied to.
If the WA AIDS Council wants to maintain its funding from the State Government then it needs to honour its funding agreements with the State Government to be actively engaged with the Positive Community on matters of Policy, Law Reform and Advocacy.
If the AIDS Council continues to refuse to do this, then the State Government should have no option but to create and fund a new properly transparent and accountable organisation that involves the HIV/AIDS Community of WA in decision making, and gives them a greater involvement in AIDS Education strategies, so that the aim of 0 new AIDS infections can finally stop being nothing more than a PR pipe dream.